“So just Jews and Greeks then?”

Newton!!

Has it been 5 years or have we met after High School?
It’s been a while!! Trust you’re doing well?

With regard to your well thought-out question; “So just Jews and Greeks then?” that arose from Romans 1:16

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

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When Paul the apostle here lays down this statement, one then wonders, how about me – who is neither a Jew nor Greek? Kenyan? Or like the question, “So just Jews and Greeks then?”

First of all bro, this should not frighten you suddenly or cause alarm.

The above verse is in the English Standard Version (ESV), whereas in other versions, Gentiles is used instead of Greeks (New International Version), both carrying the same meaning and driving the same message.

The question could then be phrased; “So just Jews and Gentiles, then?”

Greeks = Gentiles

We do know who the Jews are. The question then arises: who are the Gentiles?
The Gentiles are all those who are not the Jews, non-Jewish persons.

Let’s dig into some small history;
The Jews despised the Gentiles. According to their customs (Jews) they were not allowed to associate with the gentiles (non-Jews) leave alone visit them. The Jews also referred to the gentiles as the uncircumcised men, an insult! For a very long time, they did not see eye to eye and especially when it came to matters of the Gospel and whom Jesus Christ came to save. It was so bad that the Jews would be heard uttering this loathful words, “Thank God I’m not a woman, I’m not a dog, I’m not a gentile.”

To take you to Acts 10, Peter had to be given an imagery by God first before being sent to the house of Cornelius, the Centurion, and a gentile. According to the Mosaic law, the Jews were not allowed to eat certain kinds of animals, and here when Peter is offered a meal, to kill and eat, he denounces it fervently, but God replies, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (Verse 15) Peter still wondering what the meaning of that vision was, the men sent for him arrived. Later (Verse 27-29) it was clear to Peter the meaning of the vision from God;

27 While talking with him [Cornelius], Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28 He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29 So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”

After been answered by Cornelius (create time to read chapter 10, powerful portion in regard to the question), Peter then remarks (Verse 34);

34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.

But “back home” Peter had to explain his actions to his fellow Jews why he visited an uncircumcised man’s house and ate with the men present. Peter shares with them, not the long and short of it but each and every detail, (Chapter 11 of Acts) that at the end (Verse 18), his fellow Jews make one of the most shocking, astonishing conclusions that could be made then (time);

18 When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

Enough of the introduction, let’s come back 🙂

Here Paul is writing to the Roman Christians. And he also has to deal with this problem which was prevalent in the Roman churches as well – the tension between Jewish Christians and gentile Christians. Through this letter, Paul discusses Jew-Gentile relationships in God’s plan, and Christian conduct and love for others. He tries to give these Christians some doctrinal foundation for unity.

As Paul begins the first Chapter of the book of Romans (Verse 5-6);

Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Paul talks of his commission to take the gospel to the non-Jewish peoples that is gentiles. Paul lets the Roman Christians know that believers belong to Christ, and that is good news. And Paul did find gentiles who were prepared to receive the gospel.

Due to brevity’s sake,
Let’s touch on verse 16 shortly then I could leave you with a photo (not that’s its important. I came across it and really liked it).

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

The gospel is the way that God saves people.

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Technically, we are saved by Christ, by what he has done for us. But the gospel is a means by which we learn of that salvation and the way in which we receive it. The gospel is the power of salvation because it tells us about salvation. God uses the gospel to bring salvation to everyone who accepts the message, to everyone who trusts in Christ (since Christ is the center of the message, accepting the gospel means accepting Christ as well). Paul is not ashamed of the gospel because it is the message of eternal life. It is nothing to be ashamed of – it is something to be shared with everyone, both Jews and Gentiles.

So Newton, my friend and brother, the gospel is for all *(Matthew 28:19-20, Acts 1:8) and we fall within the gentiles tag.

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. [John 3:16]

  • 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” [Matthew 28-19-20]

  • But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” [Acts 1:8]

I pray and hope this will shed some light but in case of any clarification needed, feel free to contact me.

 

Tell me you still play rugby?

 

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